Bathurst Burr Control Guide

Bathurst burr - flowering

Bathurst burr flowering,
© Robyn Knox, Plant Protection Society of Western Australia


  • Plan your control program, this will save time and money in the long-run;
  • Consider the impact of your control methods on off-target species, especially if herbicides are used;
  • Ensure machinery and equipment is washed down between sites or prior to contractors leaving site;
  • Get in early - for new infestations, eradicate before the plants reach the flowering stage: once plants begin seeding, control becomes more difficult and expensive; and
  • Carefully time your use of herbicide for best results (see Herbicides for Bathurst Burr Control for more information);
  • Coordinate your control program with neighbouring landholders where your weed problem crosses property boundaries;
  • Revisit and regularly inspect the site and ensure follow-up is undertaken;
  • Use a combination of different control methods; and
  • Establish vigorous pasture (or native species) after removal to reduce re-infestation.


  • Don't introduce Bathurst burr to Bathurst burr-free areas (e.g. by failing to wash down machinery and equipment between sites);
  • Don't start your control program without first planning your approach;
  • Don't allow bathurst burr to flower and set seed before treatment;
  • Don't rely on one attempt at removal - follow-up is essential; and
  • Don't rely on just one control method.

Spread of Bathurst burr

  • Bathurst burr is spread entirely by seed. The burr is covered with hooked spines which catch on the hair, fur or wool of domestic stock, on sacks or woolpacks, and on clothing.

Avoid the introduction of Bathurst Burr

  • Avoid introducing seed into clean areas, or into areas from which the weed is being eradicated.
  • Use best practice weed hygiene. Fully inspect all imported stock, fodder, machinery, grain and any material to which burrs might adhere to ensure none is present.


Physical removal

  • Removal by hand is difficult due to the sharp spines.
  • Small infestations are best dealt with by hoeing or grubbing the plants, then burning them.
  • Plants carrying burrs should never be dumped, as this can spread the seed. Persons wishing to dispose of burrs or anything contaminated with burrs should contact a Biosecurity Inspector first, in order to receive direction upon how best to do this.


  • Vigorous and well managed pasture containing legumes will help inhibit the establishment of Bathurst burr.
  • Bathurst burr should be removed by grubbing or herbicide then the area sown to pasture to help prevent new plants from establishing.
  • The area should be regularly inspected from late spring to autumn as seeds can germinate through this period. Inspection should continue in subsequent years to locate and treat any new plants.

Chemical control

  • A number of herbicides are registered for use on Bathurst burr in Tasmania. Use the Herbicides for Bathurst Burr Control link for more information.
  • Larger infestations of Bathurst burr should be spot sprayed with herbicide.

    Important Disclaimer
    To the extent permitted by law, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (including its employees and consultants) excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using information or material (in part or in whole) contained on this website.

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